Tigers play to win

Wednesday, September 2, 2015
MCHS quarterback Ashton Posey has run for three touchdowns and the senior signal-caller has thrown for 591 yards and six touchdowns this season with no interceptions. Tribune photo by Anthony S. Puca

Marshall County coach Thomas Osteen rolled the dice Friday night at John Overton, going for a two-point conversion instead of kicking the potential game-tying extra point.

The attempt failed and the Tigers lost 42-41, but it showed that Osteen is playing to win, and that could go a long way in building the program in Lewisburg.

Going for win

"Usually it's my thought to always kick the extra point and extend the game," Osteen said. "However, I felt Overton was gassed and if we got the look we wanted we were going to try to steal a game we didn't deserve to win."

Apparently, that was how the majority of the sports writers in Tennessee felt as well because the Tigers dropped just one spot from No. 6 to 7 in the weekly AP Poll.

"Hopefully, this will be a big reality check for our kids," the coach said. "If we don't attack every day with a pursuit of excellence w'll never reach our potential."

Marshall County fell behind early, but a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Zach Johnson kept the Tigers in the game.

Tigers step it up

The Tigers trailed 21-7 at halftime and the deficit increased to 28-7 when Derrick Pain scored on a 16-yard run for the Bobcats.

Senior quarterback Ashton Posey stepped up again for the Tigers, running for touchdown and grabbing a 10-yard scoring pass from Jay Howard on a reverse option play to make it a 28-21 game, entering the fourth quarter.

Kimlee North scored for the Bobcats to set the Tigers back again, but two Posey touchdown passes, including a 75-yard strike to Tre Crutcher tied the game at 35.

Pain, who gained 142 yards in the game, hurt the Tigers for the third time, scampering into the end zone for Overton's final score of the night.

Posey led the Tigers down the field one last time and hooked up with Howard on a 14-yard TD pass as time wound down.

Osteen decided to go for the two-point glory, but Overton came up with the stop.

Improvement ahead

"We didn't play as a team Friday night and that's on me," said the coach. "As a coach, we're either coaching it or allowing it to happen. We'll address at length every aspect of Friday's game and implement a plan to improve all aspects of our process."

The Tigers went for the onside kick, but the Bobcats recovered and ran out the last three minutes to secure the win.

"Our guys are itching to play again and prove that wasn't who we were last week versus Overton," Osteen said. "My goal as a coach is to get our team to play to its fullest potential with maximum effort and if we do that I can live with whatever the scoreboard says at the end of the game."

Marshall County (1-1) travels to Tullahoma (0-2) this week to take on the Wildcats in a Region 4A contest before returning home on the following week to face East Nashville.



"The kids have responded in a very positive way this week," Osteen added. "I expect a different defensive mind set and unit to take the field versus Tullahoma as we have had a very physical week of practice. It's our first region game so that alone tells of the importance that the game carries in regards to all our season's goals."

The Tigers put up 460 yards of total offense Friday with Posey going 23-for-29 for 366 yards and three touchdowns.

Big night

Crutcher had another huge game from his wide receiver spot, catching eight passes for 196 yards, while Howard threw for one touchdown and caught two more.

Josh Franklin led the Marshall County running attack with 61 yards on 12 carries.

"Offensively, we were able to put up some points in the second half, but we failed to play to our standard across the board," Osteen said. "It was a total team loss."

Curtis Keiler led the Tigers defense with eight tackles while Franklin and Hunter Cummings had 7 and Tanner Clark and Kamron Liggett had 6.

"Defensively we had some alignment issues the other night, but by and large, our team tackling was very bad," Osteen said.

Marshall County 7 0 14 20 -- 41

Overton 21 0 7 14 -- 42

First quarter

O -- Pain 19 run (Bravo kick)

M -- Zach Johnson 90 kickoff return (Caleb Estes kick)

O -- Jackson 51 pass from King (Bravo kick)

O -- Travis 23 run (Bravo kick)

Third quarter

O -- Pain 16 run (Bravo kick)

M -- Posey 4 run (Estes kick)

M -- Posey 10 pass from Jay Howard (Estes kick)

Fourth Quarter

O -- North 16 run (Bravo kick)

M -- Howard 25 from Posey (Estes kick)

M -- Tre Crutcher 75 pass from Posey (Estes kick)

O -- Pain 72 run (Bravo kick)

M -- Howard 14 pass from Posey (2-pt try failed)